What are shortcut menus? The menu that pops up when you right-click in Windows. Why would you want to customize a shortcut menu? Why not? 🙂

I spend a lot of time teaching folks in law firms why Paste Special, Unformatted Text is an excellent way to NOT paste all the crud from cut or copied text. Wouldn’t it be great to have the Paste Special command on the shortcut menu, as well as Paste?

Here’s the scoop … Read the rest of this entry »


Anonymous Track Changes

March 8, 2007

Word tracks the name of a person making changes, when Track Changes is turned on. There may be times when you don’t want the name of the person(s) making changes in a document to appear. What can be done to keep this information “anonymous”?

Two ideas … Read the rest of this entry »

Popular keyboard shortcuts … quickly cycle through open Word documents.  Much faster than mousing around!

Ctrl + F6 (hold down the Ctrl key and then press the F6 key) cycles you “forwards” and Shift + Ctrl + F6 cycles you “backwards” through the stack of open Word docs.

Have you worked in a Word 2002 or 2003 document and noticed oddly named styles?

For example, a style named BodyText may exist – and you notice a style named BodyText + First line: 1″, or BodyText + Italic. Not only do the styles seem oddly named, but if you’re accustomed to working with the Styles and Formatting pane open it gets a bit crowded with all those variations on a style name.

What’s going on? What creates those styles? And, how could this be useful to you, or is this just one of Word’s diabolical evil ways?

Let’s look at Tools, Options, the Edit tab, Keep track of formatting.


The Keep track of formatting choice, when selected, is the setting that causes Word to create new style names when you manually format a paragraph already using a style.

pop-up.png Read the rest of this entry »

You may want to print a Word document minus its tracked changes. You can do that – nothing to it! From the File menu, choose Print. Click the Print what list, and choose Document, instead of Document showing markup. It’s that easy! How many of never really look through various options in often used dialog boxes? This type of tip is my reminder to open my eyes and see more!


Word? Normal?

July 18, 2006

I often read Word tips which recommend changing margins, or the “default” font, affecting the Normal template. The tips sound handy … until you wind up with a corrupted Normal template. How do you fix a corrupt Normal template? You blow it away! Delete the thing! Start over! And all your settings and tweaks to the Normal template are down the drain.  I’ve learned the hard way, don’t make changes to the Normal template.
How sad. What to do?

First, let’s define Normal template. As Word is installed “out of the box”, when it opens, it looks for a file named Normal.dot in a certain path. Normal.dot is the Normal template. In end-user speak, Word makes a copy of the Normal template and serves that up as a “fresh blank sheet of paper”.

If you close Word, then hunt down the Normal template and blow it away, then open Word again, Word regenerates a new Normal template. A vanilla outta the box Normal template, not the tweaked fudge ripple template (it’s hot here and I want ice cream!)

So tips to “permanently” change default margins from 1.25″ to 1″ by making a change in the File, Page Setup dialog box, then clicking Default [see screen cap below] are OK – BUT – they don’t really provide a sturdy solution to your need.  Why? Because they make a change to the Normal template.

I’ve thrived on Word since Word 1.1, supported it, used it, cursed it, taught it, always at the end-user level because that’s what I am and that’s who I love. So I want you to have sturdy solutions that stand up to a day in your life with Word.

What to do if you know you always want to start a new blank document with margins 1″ all around, a Normal style of Georgia 12 points, first page headers/footers different ? You create a template with these settings [we’ll do that in my next post].

Before you create the template, think about how you want to use it – for letters, all Word documents, memos, faxes, outlines, etc.? As you think, try to tease out any default or boilerplate text [such as for a fax coversheet] because we can create several templates with different boilerplate text, if need be.

The next post is going to cover creating that simple all purpose template and provide you with a few ideas for making the template very accessible.  We’ll also look at using the template as a “base” for cleaning up a messy, badly formatted, possibly corrupted document.

Meanwhile, pineapple sherbet sounds good.

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